Boy, 11, Shoots Charging Bear Attacking his Fishing Party

Elliot Clark of Alaska saved his family members from a charging brown bear with three quick shots from his pump shotgun.
Elliot Clark of Alaska saved his family members from a charging brown bear with three quick shots from his pump shotgun. photo from Facebookweb photo

An 11-year-old boy from Alaska saved his family fishing party last week when he stood his ground with a pump shotgun and killed a charging brown bear that had already swiped aside two men.

"There was four of them in a line. My son was third," said the father of Elliot Clark in this story from FoxNews.com. "The bear came down the trail at them, fella in the front, who was his uncle, the bear was on him so quickly that he didn't have time to take his rifle off his shoulder."

As the group of anglers walked through the woods near Game Creek with three dogs, Elliot was the only one who had the time and presence of mind to shoulder his gun as the bear sprang on them.

He hit the charging bear with three shots, one of which hit the large animal square on the muzzle, which was enough to bring it down. His uncle then finished off the animal when it was on the ground, the story says.

Another shot of Elliot and family with the skin of the bear that almost killed them.
Another shot of Elliot and family with the skin of the bear that almost killed them. photo from Facebookweb photo

The fact that the young fisherman was carrying his shotguns in his hands, since it didn't have a sling attached, might have been the only thing that gave him enough time to act, his father said in the story.

"That first shot hit him in the shoulder and did absolutely nothing," Elliot's father said. "The next shot hit him in the nose and traveled down through the neck."

The Fox story says Elliot's shotgun was loaded with birdshot, making the feat even more remarkable, but this story from nola.com contrarily reports that State Sen. Shelley Hughes "reported on her Facebook timeline that Elliot had changed the out-of-season bird shot in pump shotgun," which looks like a Remington 870 model from the photos, in preparation for fishing in bear country. The story does not say what kind of shells Eliot replaced the bird shot with, but from the look of the wound on the bear's snout, they were likely slugs.

"What a shot. What bravery," Shelley Hughes posted.

The story says state troopers classified the shooting as a Defense of Life or Property killing, and that there have been 11 fatal brown-bear attacks in North America since 2010.